Having a search plan can help you apply the search strategies you learned and conduct more effective and efficient searches. In other words, a plan can help you quickly find the results you are looking for.

There are five (5) steps in a search plan, and the steps spell out SEARCH.


Select research question(s) and search tools.

Example question: What did gunpowder affect society during the time of the Silk Road?


Extract keywords and terms.

Example keywords/terms: gunpowder, affect/impact/change, society/lives/world, trade, warfare, Silk Road/900 CE-1450 CE


Apply search strategies.

Example: “gunpowder”, “Silk Road”, impact OR change, society OR world


Run your search.


CHart your search.

Avoid repeating work you have already done by jotting down what you’ve searched for and where you searched for it.